Because no two patients are alike and no two tumors are alike, a referral center specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of all types of brain, cranial base and spinal cord tumors must offer the most advanced technologies for each individual situation.
Imaging studies are typically the first step in diagnosis and treatment planning, and the S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center provides a full spectrum of sophisticated diagnostic options.
The choice of treatment depends on many factors, including the type, location and aggressiveness of the tumor, and the age and overall health of the patient. Some tumors that grow slowly and pose little threat may be monitored for years with periodic imaging, never requiring intervention.
For some tumors, surgery may be an option, either alone or in combination with other therapies. But because tumors often invade “eloquent” areas of the brain – those responsible for thought, speech and other high-level functions – advanced surgical technologies, such as “awake” brain surgery and brain mapping, enable neurosurgeons to remove as much tumor as possible without injuring vital tissue.
The practice of brain surgery has been revolutionized by the introduction of high-definition, 3-D imaging and smaller, more powerful tools. Cedars-Sinai’s Maxine Dunitz Neurosurgical Institute is the exclusive West Coast research center for Carl Zeiss Meditec, one of the world’s leading imaging technology companies.
Many procedures that once required a large opening can now be performed minimally invasively, resulting in shorter recovery times and reduced risk of complications. And with the development of radiosurgery – using the Gamma Knife or Trilogy System – some tumors can be treated without any incision at all.